Running an unbalanced centrifuge can be risky. It will not only cause significant damage to the device, it can also harm the operator and other personnels in the laboratory. That said, the importance of balancing a centrifuge before using it cannot be overstated. Balancing masses to the nearest 0.1 gram is recommended.
Tubes should also be balanced by mass as opposed to volume. The total mass of each tube should be as close as possible especially during high rotor speeds. Other tips to remember when balancing a centrifuge include:
- Make sure all the sample tubes are filled evenly. Ensure they are also equal in mass, not just in volume.
- Add a tube that is equal in weight opposite the tube inserted in the rotor.
- Ensure that 2 tubes are directly opposite one another.
How to Balance 3, 5, and 7 Tubes in a Centrifuge with 12 Positions
Not all centrifuge placements have to be occupied during a run. There will be instances when you have to run 3, 5, or 7 tubes in a centrifuge with 12 positions. Balancing can be tricky so it is important that you know how to balance the tubes before operating the centrifuge.
- Three tubes can be spaced evenly around the rotor.
- If you want to balance 5 tubes, you need to create 1 balance tube and place 2 sets of 3 tubes across each other.
- If you want to balance 7 tubes, you need to create 1 balance tube and place 2 sets of 4 tubes across each other.